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 Post subject: Re: Should 150 have a restricted map list?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 12:02 am 
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Bill, its not a criticism, or even pointing the finger at abuse. Its actually the contrary. You know the game well and devise strong strategies.

This fact will not change regardless of map choices.

I like starship, as much as it played well for the speeder, so does it for many republic and separatist squads. The map forces confrontation and rewards high speed. Without speed though it hurts.
I don't like Taris, but Tim loves it. It doesn't reward fast advance as you can never quite make it but forces a center game strategy. It works for Tims defensive style.
Why should either be removed?
Neither are Mustafar.

Yes, i'm playing devils advocate to a certain extent but when do we stop messing with the map choices?
How do we gauge when the map choice is working?
How much are the core rules and mechanics like door control, unlimited range of guns and gambit affecting how the game is played to restrict the variety of squads?

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 Post subject: Re: Should 150 have a restricted map list?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:13 am 
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fingersandteeth wrote:
I don't like Taris, but Tim loves it. It doesn't reward fast advance as you can never quite make it but forces a center game strategy. It works for Tims defensive style.
Why should either be removed?
Neither are Mustafar.


Let's discuss Taris for a minute then. I believe it runs pretty darn close to Mustafar. The sole difference being the ability of the team on the left to hide their whole squad from first turn shots.

But if you remember, I wasn't using Mustafar in 2007 to deal with opposing shooters, I was using it to deal with Melee. The same is true of Taris. You use it, to avoid getting based. In a way, Taris is actually a better map for shooters than Mustafar was, because either side is equally strong. I believe it to be as abusable as Mustafar was, you just do it with activation control instead of twin dual activation combos. Otherwise, it's really not much different.

Now further (and take no offense to Tim or anyone who plays that way, as it is perfectly legal, and we are talking top level competition here so no moral victories), but I believe Tim's style of play on that map to be against the ideals of the game. I don't believe we should have maps that support it, if they prove to be almost unbeatable if done right, because it means nothing else can really compete. Tim can play the speeder defensively on the good maps as well, but on those, at least his opponent has a chance to play his style.

There is only one way to force a defensive player to act, and that is to score points on them, or to at least threaten their positions. Well, if you out activate me, have squad wide evade, and massive movement breakers on a map that I can't possibly catch you, good luck for me. At least on another map, I can use my own squad strengths to try and get close enough to score some points. I can't do that very easily on Teth, Taris, new Muun, Rat, etc. But the speeder defensive squad is still fine without those maps.

Have any of you actually played the speeder lately? Even on bad maps for it, you still have a 50% chance to win. Evade is still strong, 13 acts with override and Dodonna is still very strong, and works even better on Bespin (the best anti-speeder map). It really would change very little about how Tim can play it.

You asked where do we stop. And I agree, there has been a relatively haphazard method of dealing with maps/rules for DCI play in the past. I have suggestions for how to make it work better for everyone, but I will save them for post Gencon. I do think we need a better method of making changes, and I do think we need to have a way to prevent our restrictions necessary for competitive play from wholly supplanting the desires of the local store. I think we have the means to do it without making major DCI changes. And more importantly, it sets us up for how to deal with new maps and problem figures/combos in the future as needed. So that if we ever get Boris' example and it shows itself to be a major issue (I'm not convinced it would), we should have the means to deal with it without also affecting regular play through out the year.

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 Post subject: Re: Should 150 have a restricted map list?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:32 am 
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billiv15 wrote:
Now further (and take no offense to Tim or anyone who plays that way, as it is perfectly legal, and we are talking top level competition here so no moral victories), but I believe Tim's style of play on that map to be against the ideals of the game. I don't believe we should have maps that support it, if they proof to be almost unbeatable if done right, because it means nothing else can really compete. Tim can play the speeder defensively on the good maps as well, but on those, at least his opponent has a chance to play his style.


This, IMO, is the biggest problem I have with the state of the game right now. I know I'm one of the people that has a tendency to play that way on occasion, and in my defense (and Tim's likely too), I know I do it simply because it wins. Right now, it's what the rules allow for, and it's a way to win games. Honestly, I don't like it either. I constantly have to remind myself at high-profile events like GenCon, to step back, play more defensively, and just stay ahead on points. Most of the time, I'd rather charge in, and play agressive, even if it lowers my chances of winning. I honestly don't like playing defensively like that. But if that's what wins, just like the map issues, I'd be stupid not to use it to my own advantage.

Of course, even the map list presented above can have the same issues, depending on the player. I've played countless games on Death Star and Train Station that have gone to time with very few kills on either side. Just last night at our LGS, Lackey and James' last game went to time, with only like 3 pieces dead total. They were playing on Train Station, and James got a couple of good shots, and mobiled back to safety. When time was called, James had his ENTIRE team still in the starting area of his side. So, is Train Station any worse than Taris in that effect? It cater to less squad archetypes that can do that kind of stuff than Teth/Taris does, but it still allows it.

I think to some degree, no matter what the map list is, you're going to have to deal with people using those types of tactics in order to win games. Until there is some other sort of incentive for people to gain Victory Points, or push towards a total kill, there's no reason to go for it. If a 10-5 score is a win just like a 150-100 score is a win, then there's no incentive for me to go for the full kill, and I honestly don't think the available maps will do THAT much to change that.

Now, all this isn't to say that I'm not still concerned about the maps. I think I may have come up with a way to deal with the Speeder without playing it as well, but it's hard to say. I beat the Snowspeeder last night on Taris, but it was a tough battle for sure. On Teth, I'm not sure if it would play out the same way. Hard to say. But it ends up being sort of like the GOWK debates. Sure, I can come up with something to beat it. But if it's still only a 50% chance at best, and losing map and being forced to play on something like Teth or Taris will lessen those odds even more...well, then if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. :P

With the restricted map list, there'd be more flexibility there. I wouldn't have to factor losing the map roll into my chances.

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 Post subject: Re: Should 150 have a restricted map list?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:54 am 
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billiv15 wrote:
Now further (and take no offense to Tim or anyone who plays that way, as it is perfectly legal, and we are talking top level competition here so no moral victories), but I believe Tim's style of play on that map to be against the ideals of the game. I don't believe we should have maps that support it, if they prove to be almost unbeatable if done right, because it means nothing else can really compete. Tim can play the speeder defensively on the good maps as well, but on those, at least his opponent has a chance to play his style.


I share your sentiment about what should be allowed and not allowed in DCI play, and for some of the same reasons, but I think its important to realize that what Deri said is also correct, and also applies here: you "believe Tim's style of play on that map to be against" your idea of the spirit of the game. As much as I hate to admit it, not everyone shares our view of what is fair for the game. If they did, we wouldn't be having this discussion. It's the ability to manipulate the rules without breaking them that cause problems, and the more manipulated the rule is, the bigger the problem.

This is why I HAVE to believe there is a disconnect. It's far too unnerving to me to think that Rob saw these maps and decided to make concepts that made Gambit more challenging, especially given why Gambit necessitated itself in the first place.

To answer Deri's question, who decides what is right and what is wrong? Well the honest answer is that good or bad, right or wrong, love it or hate it, DCI has entrusted Jim, Jason, and Dean with this responsibility, to varying degrees. If they didn't like the way they were handling things, they would find someone else to do it.

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You asked where do we stop. And I agree, there has been a relatively haphazard method of dealing with maps/rules for DCI play in the past. I have suggestions for how to make it work better for everyone, but I will save them for post Gencon. I do think we need a better method of making changes, and I do think we need to have a way to prevent our restrictions necessary for competitive play from wholly supplanting the desires of the local store. I think we have the means to do it without making major DCI changes. And more importantly, it sets us up for how to deal with new maps and problem figures/combos in the future as needed. So that if we ever get Boris' example and it shows itself to be a major issue (I'm not convinced it would), we should have the means to deal with it without also affecting regular play through out the year.


I'm not sure what example I made that you are referring to here.

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 Post subject: Re: Should 150 have a restricted map list?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:59 am 
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i don't disagree with either of you (Bill and Aaron).

I look forward to your thoughts after gen con because I think somethign does need to be done about the power of center points, i just want to make sure that what ends up happening is well thought out and positive.

Like is it maps? Or is the cause more directly related to gambit?

Its likely a mixture of both which is why i would like to explore altenatives to the center point game.

Does anyone have an idea of how D&D games were played when that had scoring zones?

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 Post subject: Re: Should 150 have a restricted map list?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:33 am 
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I don't really even know anybody anymore in my area that plays/played DDM. Perhaps that would be a good question to pose to Bill Slavicek if we can track him down at GenCon.

There's a part of me that would be willing to get rid of gambit altogether. The game has evolved to the point where, even with gambit, if you lose all your door control, or if you don't build your squad to deal with door control, you're going to lose anyways. But taking away gambit altogether could just exacerbate the problem, as Accurate shooters will pick off fodder, and then hide, forcing you to cross the board. Open map or not, that's tough to do in most cases, and easy to pick off the opponent as they come at you.

Here's an idea out of left field...I'm sure there's a way to abuse it, but just a brainstorming thing....How about, instead of gambit, for every round that you go where none of your characters make an attack, or use a Special Ability or Force Power, your opponent gains 5 victory points. Of course, that doesn't really help lock-out problems, as both players would be getting it. I don't know. Maybe only the player who is down in points gets the 5 each round, if neither player is attacking, up till the point that the score is tied or the player who was down on points takes the lead. I don't know, probably better way to word it. :P Just tossing things out there.

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 Post subject: Re: Should 150 have a restricted map list?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:46 am 
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I figure I should chime in on this, since my playstyle is being discussed.

I hate not playing to the complete death of 1 team. If anyone doubts this - ask Deri how many times we have "played out" games after the 1 hour mark. I hate time limits as it is, and I still dream of a no time-limit tournament (I may still try and and run one at some point on Vassal.)

Rule #1 in TILE WARS is kill 'em all. I think that speaks for itself. Literally this format EXISTS because of frustrations of non-action.

But as the game is right now - this is the strongest completely legal strategy (I have found) to win games. At the highly competitive level - the point is to win. Bill and Aaron and Deri and most other high level competitors agree on this point.

The game has gotten to the point where if you position one piece badly - you'll likely lose them. And I don't mean low HP pieces like Lobot or Princess Liea - I mean you could easily lose Mara Jade Jedi or the Snowspeeder in one phase. Caution is the way you HAVE to go now, due to high power output. Force the OTHER GUY to make that one mistake and capitalize.

So - what is the solution? I don't know. But I just wanted to be clear that my "playstyle" is a direct result of what the game has become.


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 Post subject: Re: Should 150 have a restricted map list?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:48 am 
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fingersandteeth wrote:
Does anyone have an idea of how D&D games were played when that had scoring zones?


Apples and oranges, really.

It's hard to make a comparison of SWM to DDM, because there are just so many differences to those two games. To list a few:

1. Ranged attacks had a maximum distance most of the time. (Usually 6 squares, though this restriction may have changed/been removed with 2.0, not sure.)
2. HP is calculated on a factor of 5 instead of 10, and there were penalties for dropping below half HP (morale save [1.0] vs. bloodied [2.0]).
3. Warbands have size limits, 8 or 10 depending on which version of the game being played. It may have even been as many as 12 characters at one point.
4. The maps - there was basically "warband A" and "warband B." Each warband had a specific set-up area (not 4 squares from the edge, either), and specific victory areas. In some cases, the victory area was the same spot, but there was always more than one. And you only scored points if you were the only player with a figure in your victory zone. Otherwise it was considered "contested." What this pushed the game toward - as I played it, at least - was to field a band of mostly melee characters, a wizard with unlimited "grip" damage, and a couple of back-up pieces that could make ranged attacks. I would set the character that didn't need to benefit from a commander effect as much in an enemy victory zone to defend, and use the rest of the band for offense. I never played a DDM tournament so I can't say how solid my strategy would be in a more competitive setting. Additionally, most maps had features that changed how the game was played. Some maps had areas that gave attack and armor class (defense in SWM terms) bonuses, and then there was the unique "teleport" map, with teleport artwork drawn onto certain squares of the map allowing characters to move from one area to another via these teleporters. It was probably my favorite map to play on.
5. Initiative could be controlled through commander ratings, and was never automatic. Ryld Argith, the equivalent of Thrawn, was a 55 pt. piece that let you add +8 to your initiative roll each round. That was about as good as you could get.

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 Post subject: Re: Should 150 have a restricted map list?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 12:17 pm 
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TimmerB123 wrote:
I figure I should chime in on this, since my playstyle is being discussed.

I hate not playing to the complete death of 1 team. If anyone doubts this - ask Deri how many times we have "played out" games after the 1 hour mark. I hate time limits as it is, and I still dream of a no time-limit tournament (I may still try and and run one at some point on Vassal.)


Vouched for.

I know you would rather play them out.


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But as the game is right now - this is the strongest completely legal strategy (I have found) to win games. At the highly competitive level - the point is to win. Bill and Aaron and Deri and most other high level competitors agree on this point.

The game has gotten to the point where if you position one piece badly - you'll likely lose them. And I don't mean low HP pieces like Lobot or Princess Liea - I mean you could easily lose Mara Jade Jedi or the Snowspeeder in one phase. Caution is the way you HAVE to go now, due to high power output. Force the OTHER GUY to make that one mistake and capitalize.

So - what is the solution? I don't know. But I just wanted to be clear that my "playstyle" is a direct result of what the game has become.


Yeah, i'm not critisizing you, lobo or anyone for this strat. I used it in Racine extensively. The game is what it is. Any legal strategy is valid regardless of how the opponent feels when he is on the recieving end of it.

My belief is that where the game is now extends directly from the power of Override. When we 1st played back in rebel storm we actually nerfed override so that neither would abuse it.
My last 150 tourney game was won because i abused the heck out of it.
Gambit was brought in to combat the lock wins in tourneys and so center games are an indirect result of this game mechanic.

I don't want override nerfed but the game should force action, REWARD action. At the moment it rewards high activation gambit getting in the majority of squads because the opponent has to "charge the trenches" once a points lead is lost. Its one of the reasons the OR, vong, mandos and Sith can't really compete.

If the scoring zone was out of reach for both teams what would the game become?

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3. Warbands have size limits, 8 or 10 depending on which version of the game being played. It may have even been as many as 12 characters at one point.

4. The maps - there was basically "warband A" and "warband B." Each warband had a specific set-up area (not 4 squares from the edge, either), and specific victory areas. In some cases, the victory area was the same spot, but there was always more than one. And you only scored points if you were the only player with a figure in your victory zone. Otherwise it was considered "contested." What this pushed the game toward - as I played it, at least - was to field a band of mostly melee characters, a wizard with unlimited "grip" damage, and a couple of back-up pieces that could make ranged attacks. I would set the character that didn't need to benefit from a commander effect as much in an enemy victory zone to defend, and use the rest of the band for offense. I never played a DDM tournament so I can't say how solid my strategy would be in a more competitive setting. Additionally, most maps had features that changed how the game was played. Some maps had areas that gave attack and armor class (defense in SWM terms) bonuses, and then there was the unique "teleport" map, with teleport artwork drawn onto certain squares of the map allowing characters to move from one area to another via these teleporters. It was probably my favorite map to play on.


well these are the most interesting points to me.
Limiting activations would certainly put people on an even footing although it would require some clarification regarding reserves and reinforcements, but it would certainly weaken gambit getting to a certain degree. However, it still leaves the tempo control pieces in control of the action and the center and that means a similar situation to what we have now.

The Maps are obviously an important aspect, hence the reason Dean started the topic. Its the most aspect accesible to us, the players, for changing.
i kind of like the scoring being nullified if both teams have a figure in there. This would prevent scores increasing everyround to a degree and would put a slightly larger focus on having to defeat something. But there is nothing stopping that strategy.

The game is so developed at the moment that quick fixes arn't an option. Also, without knowing where the game is going its hard to suggest alternative ideas.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 1:38 pm 
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I still have some of my laminated DDM maps. I'll bring one or two of them to GenCon so you can see the differences from how SWM maps are laid out.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:35 pm 
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I would love to be able to play around with multiple scoring or gambit zones in the map design process. As it stands now a competitive map has to be designed entirely around the center point, which puts a limit on the thematic options available.

Even more, though, I would LOVE to be able to build designated starting areas into the maps and move things away from a strict side-to-side charge. What if a map had a divided/protected gambit and each side had one square of starting area adjacent to that gambit, or even in it? You could choose to put a piece in there at the start of the game--but do you put a fodder piece in to keep your heavy hitters to the rear and protected for more of the game, or do you put a nice little evading tank out there and trust it to hold down the fort until the rest of your squad arrives as backup? It would add a whole new level to the game, and a whole new field of options for map design.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 4:28 pm 
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fingersandteeth wrote:
i don't disagree with either of you (Bill and Aaron).

I look forward to your thoughts after gen con because I think somethign does need to be done about the power of center points, i just want to make sure that what ends up happening is well thought out and positive.

Like is it maps? Or is the cause more directly related to gambit?

Its likely a mixture of both which is why i would like to explore altenatives to the center point game.

Does anyone have an idea of how D&D games were played when that had scoring zones?



I'm gonna chime in :D

I think the underlying problem is the set up of gambit. I don't feel the maps are the problem except for maybe 2 or 3.(mustafar and korriban)

Major complaint on most of the new maps now seems to be the open gambit. Personally I like to see a line across the map as the gambit. Closest too the line or highest point piece in tie gets gambit. or maybe a couple rows of squares across map as gambit and you just need to get into it.
This would IMO allow some more use of melee pieces since they don't have to rely on surviving in open on gambit and will allow more parts of most maps to be used.
:)
This may bring out some more maps that have been banned but in a different light wouldn't be.

For Dean's question I leaved the list alone for now. The game is heading for 200 if it hasn't already. I think maybe 200 should become the new standard for regionals and national but we will see.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 11:02 pm 
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I was thinking and had an idea. Its probably a bad idea, or atleast not a reasonably feasible one.

How about instead of (or in addition to) rolling for map choice at the start of a game, you roll for the map? Like there's a numbered list of all the legal maps and you roll to see which one is used. Perhaps have both players roll to find the two maps that would be chosen between.
That way you'd have to build a team that could function well on any map, as opposed to trying to take advantage of the features of a certain map since there won't be the 50/50 chance of getting that map.

Probably not something that could be a regular rule or whatever, since it requires having sufficient numbers of all the maps. But it could be something to try, to see how well it would work.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 11:08 pm 
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Uniclonus wrote:
I was thinking and had an idea. Its probably a bad idea, or atleast not a reasonably feasible one.

How about instead of (or in addition to) rolling for map choice at the start of a game, you roll for the map? Like there's a numbered list of all the legal maps and you roll to see which one is used. Perhaps have both players roll to find the two maps that would be chosen between.
That way you'd have to build a team that could function well on any map, as opposed to trying to take advantage of the features of a certain map since there won't be the 50/50 chance of getting that map.

Probably not something that could be a regular rule or whatever, since it requires having sufficient numbers of all the maps. But it could be something to try, to see how well it would work.


This is a great idea until you consider the logistics. What if someone rolls "Death Star" but neither player has it with them, and no one can or wants to loan it to them? It's the same reason why the rotating map list idea for GenCon didn't work, either. Too many people don't have all the maps. Some people don't have any at all.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:37 pm 
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We could always bring the Magic approach; that is; if both players haven't hit a certain minimum point value (100 out of 150)? when time is called + finish the round, it is a draw. Might force people to play out games faster, because drawing isn't much better then losing (1 point vs 3 points for winning).


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 1:50 pm 
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Cybit wrote:
We could always bring the Magic approach; that is; if both players haven't hit a certain minimum point value (100 out of 150)? when time is called + finish the round, it is a draw. Might force people to play out games faster, because drawing isn't much better then losing (1 point vs 3 points for winning).



but the problem with that is their are some games that both players are moving fast but are not engaging becasue the other has an advantage. I have played a few games that both of us were moving fast but at the end the score was low

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 1:15 pm 
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StriderRe80 wrote:
Cybit wrote:
We could always bring the Magic approach; that is; if both players haven't hit a certain minimum point value (100 out of 150)? when time is called + finish the round, it is a draw. Might force people to play out games faster, because drawing isn't much better then losing (1 point vs 3 points for winning).



but the problem with that is their are some games that both players are moving fast but are not engaging becasue the other has an advantage. I have played a few games that both of us were moving fast but at the end the score was low

True, strider, but I guess it depends on whether that is the case for the majority of low score games. I think the idea has merit, because sometimes those situations come up, but more often, imo, the lower score games are due to intentional slow play. But I do see your point, and those are often the fun games :).

I als like the idea of random maps, but it needs to be adaptable for map availability

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 Post subject: Re: Should 150 have a restricted map list?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:05 pm 
Death Star Designers
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i honestly dont think maps are the problem at 150. I think it comes down to basic game design and how shooters are being made compared to melee. Cannon squads are obviously the tops squads and the only way to change this is make only the melee friendly maps available, which i dont think will work either. 150 just needs to go away.

It might be nice to have fixed maps, but again that wont change the problems in game design.

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 Post subject: Re: Should 150 have a restricted map list?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 1:59 pm 
Moff Disra
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Sithdragon13 wrote:
150 just needs to go away.

Something sure needs to go away. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Should 150 have a restricted map list?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 4:12 pm 
Death Star Designers
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Engineer wrote:
Sithdragon13 wrote:
150 just needs to go away.

Something sure needs to go away. :lol:

Are you volunteering? then by all means feel free.

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